REAL NICE FOLKS FROM MINNESOTA — 223 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This morning I fished with 4 members of the Kovar family from just west of St. Paul, Minnesota.  Mr. Dale Kovar, his wife, Linda, and their daughter, Chelsea Rademacher, all flew down to Texas to see their son, Rhett, before he deploys to Iraq as a member of the Minnesota National Guard.  Rhett only recently completed basic training and AIT, then got called up and has now been at Fort Hood living in the barracks since October.  Two other siblings were unable to make the trip.

 

 

PHOTO CAPTION #1:  From left, that’s Linda, Chelsea, Dale, and Rhett with a few of the 223 fish they landed under breezy, post-frontal conditions.

 

PHOTO CAPTION #2:  Linda landed the top two fish of the trip this morning, including this nice hybrid and a freshwater drum which went 4.75 pounds.

WHERE WE FISHED:  Belton Lake

WHEN WE FISHED:  Monday, 02 December 2019, AM

HOW WE FISHED:  Fishing was easy this morning.  Birds started feeding and leading the way to fish just a few minutes after sunrise.  The bird action was most intense in the first hour after sunrise, but did not quit entirely until around 10AM.  We used two different methods this morning, depending on how the fish were presenting on sonar.  If the fish were very active and chasing bait throughout the water column, we used a slow version of a smoking tactic to cover the water column; and, if the fish were less aggressive and holding on bottom, we used a slower, lower easing tactic. We used a stinger-hook equipped 3/8 oz. Hazy Eye Slab in white color for both jobs.

While the birds worked, we made 4 stops under them as they moved about feeding, and typically began by using a smoking retrieve until the fish settled, then mopped up with an easing retrieve, and then moved to a new bunch of fish once the easing slowed down.  We boated our first 100 fish by 9:19AM.

After the birds quit, we spent our final hour atop a school of white bass holding on a breakline.  I layered in Garmin LiveScope at this point to help keep everyone engaged.  These fish quit just a few minutes before 11AM.  We finished up with 223 fish including white bass, hybrid striped bass, freshwater drum, and largemouth bass.

On two separate occasions the fish fed so aggressively that Rhett and Chelsea wound up catching two fish on their slabs at the same time — one fish on the treble, and one fish on the stinger hook.

Of course, when all was said and done, I directed them to the good care of Mr. Dirk over at Miller’s Smokehouse for lunch.  I just wouldn’t be right to come all the way from Minnesota and not dine there.

TALLY: 223 fish caught and released

OBSERVATIONS:  I noted that in ~23 feet of water or less, even when birds were working fish and bait aggressively, my outboard would spook fish from directly beneath the boat.  Therefore, I used side-imaging to find large concentrations of fish, then put my cursor on the H’bird Solix on those fish and let the i-Pilot Link system take us more stealthily to those fish instead of running over them with the outboard.  It seemed that only those suspended fish were negatively impacted in this way.

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time:    7:00A

End Time:  11:00A

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start:  40F

Elevation: 2.69 feet low, 0.01′ 24-hour fall, 34 CFS flow

Water Surface Temp:  57.4

Wind Speed & Direction: NW11 at sunrise and tapering off just a bit to NW8 by trip’s end

Sky Conditions:  Post-frontal bluebird skies

GT = 70

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Areas B0153C, vic 1804, vic B0159C, B0197C – 4 stops along a line connecting these areas, all with bird-assist

**Area vic B0118C

 

 

Bob Maindelle

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

254.368.7411 (call or text)

 

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle

WE PASKO-TIZED ‘EM — 60 FISH @ BELTON

WHO I FISHED WITH:  This past Tuesday morning, January 15th, I fished with long-time friend Bill Pasko on Lake Belton.  Bill is a great multi-species fisherman originally from upstate New York, on the shores of Lake Ontario.  After a short stint as a U.S. Army Infantry officer in Vietnam, Bill worked through age 55 putting his chemistry background to work for him and others.  He’s now retired and fishes nearly as much as I do!!

The main focus today was to introduce Bill to many of the capabilities of the Garmin LIveScope technology. It also served as a scouting opportunity for me, as I’d not fished Belton since 04 Jan. when the lake flooded once again. Bill called me the day before after seeing my 11 Jan. 2019 post comparing the spread diameter of two kinds of cast nets at depth. His curiosity was piqued and so, off we went this morning in search of fish.

 

Long-time Lake Belton multi-species angler Bill Pasko with a pair of hybrid we caught over 50′ of water.  These fish were suspended and on the move, but readily identified using the Garmin LiveScope technology.  We used soft plastics on jigheads to seal the deal.

 

WHAT WE FISHED FOR:  This trip focused on white bass.  

WHERE WE FISHED: Lake Belton

WHEN WE FISHED: Tuesday,  January 15th, 2019

HOW WE FISHED:   Today’s fishing was focused around the 34-37 foot mark and involved both snap-jigging with slabs for fish we saw on bottom and sniping with soft plastics on jigheads for fish which were suspended.  The deeper the water, the better the fish responded to the thumper.  The fish activity correlated with windspeed.

OBSERVATIONS:  I was pleasantly surprised to see even smallish white bass eagerly strike Bill’s 4″ long soft plastics as we sniped for suspended fish.  I’ve traditionally defaulted to smaller presentations.  We experienced one episode of helpful bird action offered by ~8 terns over a short 10 minutes span, despite hundreds of ring-billed gulls sighted over open water.

TALLY: 60 fish caught and released

 

TODAY’S CONDITIONS/NOTES:

Start Time: 7:30a

End Time: 11:30a

Air Temp. @ Trip’s Start: 42F

Water Surface Temp: 49.9 – 51.5F

Wind Speed & Direction: Winds were calm through about 9:30, then blew SSE6 for the remainder of the trip.

Sky Conditions:  100% coverage of light grey clouds

Water Level: 10.75′ high with 24-hour drop of 0.21 feet; slowly falling water flowing @ 2,984 CFS 

GT = 0

#WhiteBassFishing #LakeBelton #StillhouseHollow

Wx SNAPSHOT:    

 

 

 AREAS FISHED WITH SUCCESS:

**Area vic B0107C – snap jigging

**Area vic B0110C – snap jigging

**Area B0117C to B0111C – slow smoking/sniping under minimal bird activity

**Area B0129C – sniping for suspended “thumped” fish

**Area 1291 – deep, slow smoking for “thumped” fish in 50′

 

 

Bob Maindelle, Belton Lake Fishing Guide

Full-time, Professional Fishing Guide and Owner of Holding the Line Guide Service

Belton Lake Fishing Guide, Stillhouse Hollow Fishing Guide

 

254.368.7411 (call or text)

Website: www.HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

E-mail: Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bobmaindelle

Twitter: www/twitter.com/bobmaindelle